Drug Policy

Researchers: Drug War Censors Science

Bans on marijuana, other substances, hampers medical research

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The outlawing of drugs such as cannabis, magic mushrooms and other psychoactive substances amounts to scientific censorship and is hampering research into potentially important medicinal uses, leading scientists argued on Wednesday.

Laws and international conventions dating back to the 1960s have set back research in key areas such as consciousness by decades, they argued in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

"The decision to outlaw these drugs was based on their perceived dangers, but in many cases the harms have been overstated," said David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.